7 ways a loyalty program can get you closer to your customers

By | 11 April, 2016

Find out where your customers have been, and where they want to go next.

So, you’ve got a fantastic product or service. People like it and they buy it. But you want to boost your bottom line and get new customers on board. And you want your existing customers to spend more.

But can you reach your customers the way you need to? Do you know what makes them tick? Do you know what your individual customers want? Or what they might want next?

Here’s seven ways that loyalty programs get you closer to your customers – and your next sale.

1. Find out who your customers are

It all starts with the sign-up process. The questions you put on your loyalty sign-up form allow you to instantly capture basic information about your in-store customers (and even join that up to online customers) to gain a full picture of their interactions with your business.

You can then contact your new loyalty members and start to build their customer profile. For example, a department store might send questions to gauge a new member’s interest in its offerings — Menswear? Homewares? Electrical? — and then use this information to focus their marketing.

DCA’s loyalty systems let you tailor your member sign-up forms so you can capture information about your customers that is important to you.

2. See your customers as individuals

Even if you have thousands of customers, loyalty programs allow you to see each of your customers, track their spending and how they interact with different areas of your business. Do they only buy in-store? Or prefer online? Are they a sucker for a good sale? Do they endorse your brand on social media?

You need this visibility to reward individuals for their activity right across your business. At DCA, we describe this as having a “single customer view”. This is the basic building block to any good customer loyalty program.

And rather than this data sitting in separate systems, DCA brings it together from multiple sources to make sure value isn’t being left on the table.

3. Sell more to your customers

Whether you want to sell more, up-sell or cross-sell, customer loyalty programs can help demand more wallet share. More than 80% of people tend to buy more from a company if they are a member of its loyalty program, according to the For Love or Money 2015 report.

And because loyalty systems allow you to understand how a customer interacts with your business, you can identify relevant opportunities to market to them.

Take the system we built for Home Timber and Hardware’s loyalty program. It lets the company know what products customers have purchased. So, for example, when one of its loyalty members purchases paint, there’s an obvious opportunity for it to advertise its range of painting accessories to this customer.

4. Engage your customers in new and relevant ways

Once you know who your customers are and what makes them tick, you can really start engaging with them. Rather than just talking about your products and services, you can talk about their status in your program and points balance. You can run competitions or offer double or triple reward points for special events. You can ask them about their interests, and reward them with something they are passionate about.

And because our loyalty systems enables you to map and manage your customer’s journey with your business, engagement is always targeted. No need for generic emails. No bulk mail outs. When you talk to your customers, it’s about something relevant to them. And as you really delve into the data, you can start to use predictive analysis to get the next best offer in front of them before they ask for it.

5. Get your customers excited about your brand (or someone else’s)

Do you jump for joy when you receive your renewal notice for your car insurance? Probably not. Insurance may be necessary but it’s not a product that elicits great excitement.

But here’s the thing. Loyalty programs let you offer your customer more than just your product. So when your insurance company later emails you with an exclusive offer for priority seating at a Rolling Stones concert or a footy grand final, that might evoke some excitement!

Sponsorship is a US$55 billion dollar industry. These cross-branding opportunities — particularly through sports, music, entertainment and travel — let you leverage similar positive brand association that sponsors enjoy, but without the cost.

6. Increase your value proposition — and attract new customers

Imagine two companies with similar service or product. Both have a good reputation and prices are competitive. They both have an online presence and have equally convenient in-store locations. One has a loyalty program, the other doesn’t. Which one would you choose?

Customers are savvy. They want more bang for their buck. What else can you offer? A loyalty program could make the difference.

7. Get more from existing customers and save on costs

Customer loyalty is one instance where it’s not a waste of time – or money – to preach to the converted. It’s simply good business to try and extract more value from customers who you know already like your brand. And it’s usually cheaper than attracting new customers.

So, that wraps up seven ways a loyalty program can help you reach your customers and boost your business. But it’s just part of the story. We’ll be letting you know more about different elements of loyalty programs.

DCA’s loyalty systems provide the data-driven, technical base to help make your customer loyalty program come to life, regardless of how big your company is and who your customers are. Learn more about the capabilities of our system here.

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